Around the World

In India, cheap smartphones could be a key to bridging language gaps

By Chris Meadows
August 27, 2015 // 1 Comment

India is an interesting emerging digital market. A number of American news outlets such as the Huffington Post and Business Insider are setting up India-specific versions of their sites in the hope of attracting new English-speaking users, but newspapers and television remain popular there, and the [...]

Mike Shatzkin discusses smartphone reading, German ‘soft’ DRM move

By Chris Meadows
August 24, 2015 // 0 Comments

Mike Shatzkin has posted his latest thoughts on the state of the publishing industry. This time he notices the trends toward increased smartphone e-reading and German conglomerates removing “hard” DRM from their e-books. Shatzkin ponders the meanings behind these two moves, largely separately. [...]

A self-published bestseller helps children get to sleep

By Chris Meadows
August 20, 2015 // 1 Comment

The Guardian reports on a 2014 Swedish self-published picture book whose English translation has, by word of mouth, suddenly shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic. While it doesn’t seem to work for everyone, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep helps a [...]

The ‘Drinkable Book’ may offer sanitary drinking water to the developing world

By Chris Meadows
August 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

E-books might be changing the way we read, but paper books can learn new tricks, too. Electric Literature and Discover Magazine report on a “Drinkable Book” composed of a new kind of “pAge” filter paper treated with silver nanoparticles that can kill 99.9% of water-borne bacteria. The book, [...]

An estimated cost breakdown for Google’s $50 smartphone

By Chris Meadows
August 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

Google has plans for a $50 Android One smartphone for the developing world, but how would such a phone be built? How much would they spend on each component? Engadget takes some guesses at the amounts and determines it can probably be done, but it may not be a very great phone. But then, any phone [...]

Start-ups in Europe look for new ways to give books digital life

By Chris Meadows
August 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

The BBC has an article looking at different ways that books (mostly e-books, but with a print example or two) can be made more attractive in the information age. One way has to do with digitally personalizing printed books with children’s names—not exactly a new idea, as I was given a [...]

Bucharest train station uses QR codes to bring e-books into the real world

By Chris Meadows
August 11, 2015 // 1 Comment

Here’s an update on a story we covered last year, about a Romanian company developing a way to display your e-books with digital bookshelf wallpaper. Web Urbanist has some great pictures of the Bucharest train station and its dramatic new wallpaper display listing hundreds of books with QR codes [...]

European Commission opens anti-trust probe into Amazon ‘most-favored nation’ policy

By Chris Meadows
June 11, 2015 // 2 Comments

That pesky most-favored nation clause in e-book contracts is rearing its head again, this time in Europe. The European Commission has announced it is opening an anti-trust investigation into Amazon’s practice of requiring notice when e-books sold on Amazon were sold more cheaply somewhere else so [...]

Back in the YooKay – and some thoughts on English English

By Paul St John Mackintosh
January 27, 2015 // 1 Comment

I’m going back to the UK for a week from Hungary to touch base with family, friends and some things literary as well. Besides literary London and Gothic London, and Jane Austen’s Hampshire, I’ll also be trying to see some significant British writers and editors, and communing with [...]

One of Budapest’s loveliest bookshops: Rózsavölgyi és Társa

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

One of Budapest’s most fascinating and attractive specialist bookshops, as well as the storefront for one of Hungary’s largest music publishers, is Rózsavölgyi és Társa, just off the tourist thoroughfare of Váci utca and a major feature of the Rózsavölgyi House, itself an [...]

Diane Duane holds Cyber Monday sale; may have to close e-book store

By Chris Meadows
November 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

Diane Duane’s e-book store is running a 50% off sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. All e-books in the store are half-off, no discount code required. But as Duane explains in a blog post, this could very well be her last Cyber Monday sale, because of the new VAT MOSS regulations coming into [...]

New European VAT law could threaten small e-businesses

By Chris Meadows
November 29, 2014 // 4 Comments

New European Union regulations regarding value-added taxes (a sort of European equivalent of sales tax) will take effect January 1, 2015 that could cause problems for businesses selling electronic goods and services. Referred to as VAT MOSS (for “Mini One-Stop Shop,” the web portal each member [...]

FAA failure to keep up with commercial drone use could prevent innovation

By Chris Meadows
February 25, 2014 // 1 Comment

At the risk of droning on, it seems like there has been a lot of news involving drones lately. We covered Amazon’s announcement of package delivery (someday) via drones, and some responses to it. Clearly, drone services could fill the middle range between snail-mail delivery and electronic [...]

India’s famed budget Android tablet to come to US, start at $38 standard retail

By libertyc
December 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

Remember that $35 tablet from India? Datawind, the company that manufactures it, is going to bring it to the USA. In fact, it’s bringing three versions of the tablet: an el-cheapo version for $38 that’s basically a 7” tablet with WiFi, an $80 version that has the same specs but adds 2G EDGE [...]

German publishers hit newspapers with criminal complaint for naming e-book piracy site

By libertyc
September 9, 2013 // 0 Comments

German book publishers have taken another step in fighting e-book piracy by suing two newspapers that interviewed the operator of a piracy website. Der Tagesspiegel and Die Zeit have been hit with a criminal complaint after the papers ran an interview with a representative of TorBoox, according to [...]

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